Week of Living Connectedly Field Report: Day 1
The first thing I did as part of my experiment was to be as indiscriminate as possible in terms of who I connected with online. Channelling my inner Ray Kurzweil, I figured why not have as many connections as possible, increasing my network and making my outbrain all the bigger. So I dumped my entire Gmail contact list into Facebook and Linkedin. I’d never took this step before because I thought it was weird or intrusive. But really, the beauty of social media is how unobtrusive it is. If you didn’t want to be my friend, you could just ignore me. I’d live.
Well, 200 people confirmed my Facebook friend request yesterday (a number that increases by the minute). My numbers skyrocketed on Linkedin as well.
Here are some of the things I observed about the experience:
- It was pretty awkward at first to send the invites. I thought I might be perceived as being needy or self-promotional. It helped me having the experiment excuse, though I really shouldn’t have been too concerned. I will not be posting selfies and inane facts about my life. I actually want to see if this experiment might help the free interchange of ideas.
- There’s a certain excitement that comes from “connecting” with people. I was stoked when a number of people I admired accepted my friendship. I was also happy to refresh connections with people I hadn’t connected with for some time. There were quite a few people I didn’t really know (many people who got added to my contact list because of one or two email exchanges); time will tell how those connections pan out.
- Social media makes the line between work/personal life fuzzier. I read this quote recently: “A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation.” While I’m not super revealing about my personal life online, people who check out my online identity–people who might have only had professional interactions with me–will get to know a little more about me. That’s okay.
- Working full time and helping take care of my son makes my day-to-day stuff pretty dull. You can follow my migrations between home, coffee shop and park, but I wouldn’t take it personally if you didn’t.
- Social media management can get a bit exhausting. After all of yesterdays thrills, I woke up today not really wanting to soldier on with experiment.
To do’s for today:
- Focus on meaningfully interacting with other social media sites, in particular Twitter and Instagram.
- Stick with the goals I set out to achieve yesterday, especially as the weekend approaches, a time when I historically ditch my social media life pretty completely.
- Focus on sharing ideas. Social media, in my opinion, is pretty ridiculous if it’s just a tool for aggrandizing our lives. It can be pretty amazing if we use it as a place to disseminate and expand ideas.
- Start thinking about forging new relationships through technology, not just reestablishing existing ones.